The Cost of Friendship
All names in this story have been changed, or omitted (those omitted don’t matter or I can’t remember who was present), to keep those involved anonymous.
This story requires just a little bit of background before we get down to the good stuff. The events that follow took place in upstate New York, in the Finger Lake region. Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland, both of which maintain Division 3 (so not very important) football programs, have a rivalry that has stood for over 50 years, and the weekend that they play every year is known as Cortaca. Cortaca is generally a shit show, since the two schools are only like 30 minutes apart, and so there’s a lot of fans from each side at the game and in the area during the entire weekend. The amount of drunken fuckery that goes on is borderline (see: absolutely) unnecessary.
One year, me and a few friends went up to Ithaca to visit our friend Cassandra* for the annual disaster that is Cortaca. I drove all four of us there (also with me were our mutual friend Lucas, Cassandra’s younger brother, and one of his friends), and upon arrival we promptly drank an ocean of alcohol. There’s no better way to end a 3 hour car ride then to walk into a party and have beers pushed on you like an avalanche from your wasted friends.
The next morning, after about 4 hours of sleep, we all got up and drank some more, because who needs a liver? We groggily stumbled down the block for a nice day drink, and then we went to the game in Cortland, along with most of the Ithacans (i think that’s what they’re called). Most, not all.
The events of the game are irrelevant (remember that thing about Division 3 football not being important?) and so we kept our time there to a couple short hours. Cortland is one of those middle of nowhere college towns; you can understand our haste to leave. At this point, with the travel, drinking, and lack of sleep weighing on us, we were looking to recharge for a bit before doing, you guessed it, more drinking!
I’m driving us back to Ithaca (Yes, I was driving responsibly Mom, no I wasn’t day drinking and driving Mom), the four of us who made the trip up, plus Cassandra, when she receives a phone call. The rest of us behaved exactly as you would expect four drunk and/or hungover, early 20 somethings would: a mixture of apathy and harassment to distract her on the call. That all quickly faded away, as Cassandra’s face went from irritated to horrified in the blink of an eye. Fearing the worst, we fell silent, and waited with bated breath to hear the tragic news.
“Oh my God. Oh my God are you fucking kidding me? What do you mean? How is that possible?”
Well that can’t be good. We all start asking her what’s wrong. As if four people berating her while she’s on the phone will make her panic less.
“That’s disgusting! Who the fuck would do that? Where were you? How did they get in?”
Ok well it looks like no one is dead. The voice on the other end sounds like Cassandra’s roommate, so something is wrong back at the dorm. We continue to question her, but she waves us off emphatically.
“Ok just call the RA and tell them what happened. We’ll be back in ten minutes to help figure out what’s next. Just don’t do anything yet we have to figure out who did this.”
What was once dread has now been replaced by curiosity as our chief emotion, as we resume our questioning of Cassandra when she hangs up. She doesn’t respond immediately, caught in a thousand-yard stare, before we finally get her attention back.
“Someone shit in our toilet.”
Yea obviously, Cassandra, that’s what it’s for.
“You guys don’t understand. Someone broke into our room and left it in the toilet. She said there’s too much, it has to be more than one person.”
Silence. Then, uproarious laughter. The type of laughter that makes you fear that you’ll pull a muscle. Obviously this isn’t the response she expected, or wanted. Her mood is going down faster than a lead zeppelin.
We get back to the dorm, the guys trying not to laugh too hard and stoke Cassandra’s rage. As we walk down the seemingly endless hallway, we finally see her roommate and a couple other friends outside the room. They’re frantically pacing, sounds of frustration and near-hysteria echoing down the hall. We approach, and the joke ends there, as we enter the room and are slapped in the face with a wall of noxious fumes. A completely inescapable, nauseating miasma of colonic chaos. So my first move was to escape.
We reconvened down the hall, although outside the building probably would have been better. Cassandra’s roommate informed us the RA was unreachable, as was the janitorial staff, so we weighed our options. The culprits were obviously a group of guys from down the hall who hadn’t gone to the game, though they staunchly denied it (spoiler alert: it was them). So we moved on to the only logical conclusion: guilt each other into attending to the issue. It was looking like it was going to get real dark there, personal stuff was about to be said that couldn’t be taken back, when out of the gloom came a knight in shining armor. Lucas (remember him from earlier? He matters in this story!) stepped forward and volunteered.
That day Lucas proved he was the best friend, but he was soon to find out the cost of that title.
All that was left to do was get down to it. It was a logistical nightmare; we could not have been less equipped to the task at hand. We divvied up responsibilities, with such sought after positions as: garbage can holder, extra plastic bag dispenser, ventilation, holder of Lucas’s nose, etc. We looked like a team of drunk, first day bomb disposal technicians. Lucas donned garbage bags on his hands up to his elbows, and got to work. I would share the details here, but to be honest I was laughing too hard, and picked a job as far away as possible from the action (I’m not ashamed to admit I wanted no part of this BS, pun intended). I can tell you it took more scoops than you would think. There was a lot of splashing, giggling, groaning, gagging (Lucas has a talent for fake vomiting), and cursing. It was as bad, or worse, than you can imagine.
After the carnage was over, there was only one way we could possibly move past this debacle.
*Yes this is that same Cassandra